1959 Bocar XP-5 Sportscar / 003 Vehicle Information

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-5 photograph

1959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-51959 Bocar XP-5
Sportscar
Chassis #: 003
Sold for $412,500 at 2016 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
This vehicle was originally purchased from Bob Carnes (Bocar) by Meister Brau for their race-team in 1959. It was partnered with one of the original Meister Brau Scarabs. It was built in Denver, Colorado, and it was first raced at Meadowdale International Raceway in May of 1959. It also raced at Road America and Riverside. Augie Pabst finished the year at Road Atlanta and the Bahama Speed Weeks where he sat on the pole. The car has changed hands three times since, with the previous owner keeping it for 45 years. It was found on Craig's List and is now in its original livery. Records indicate the XP-5 had a factory price of $8,700 in 1959.
Sportscar
Chassis #: 003
Sold for $412,500 at 2016 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
Bob Carnes of Denver, Colorado was an aeronautic engineer who took up sports car racing in the early 1950s. The American post-war road-racing scene was a barrage of creativity and fueled by Detroit powerplants and clothed in lightweight and exotic materials, such as fiberglass. Standard production vehicles were 'hot rodded.' New racing specials were created, often inspired by designs from factory teams.

After racing a Glockler-built Porsche Spyder and a Jaguar XK120, Carnes came to the realization that he would only be satisfied driving a car of his own design. As the 1950s were coming to a close, he combined his first and last names, and founded BOCAR. His entry into the market put him in competition with builders such as Kellison and Devin, who were also building sports racing cars that were powered by American ingenuity and bodied in lightweight European-inspired chassis and coachwork.

BOCAR's early cars were named the XP-1 through XP-4. In early 1959, Carnes introduced the Bocar XP-5. In similar fashion to the preceding cars, the XP-5 had a space-frame design constructed with high-strength chromoly steel with a torsion-bar suspension (just like a Porsche 356). Braking was handled by Buick drum brakes. Power was supplied from a 283-cubic inch Corvette V8 which was placed far behind the front axle to help with weight distribution. Since there was no passenger, the engine was laterally offset slightly toward the passenger's side to counterbalance the weight of the driver. The fiberglass roadster body was equally impressive and had a similar aerodynamic design similar to Maserati, Devin, and Byers sports racers.

Although the BoCar XP-5 was a capable competitor, its Achilles heel proved to be the limitations of the Corvette 283 engine against an ever-evolving field. The Bocar days of racing came to an abrupt end, not due to competition, however, but by a fire that destroyed Carnes' fabrication shop in 1962. He made claims of building 30 Bocars during 1959, but historians estimate that no more than 15 examples of the XP-5 were produced in total.

This example was purchased by Harry Heuer Jr. for his scuderia Meister Brau. The team also purchased a Scarab to compete in the 1959 SCCA and USAC events under the Meister Brauser banner. The Scarab was backed up by the Bocar XP-5, christened Meister Brauser III.

The XP-5 made its racing debut on May 31st of 1959 at the USAC event at the 1st Annual Meadowdale 505 Race with Harry Heuer Jr. performing the driving duties. He finished in 13th place. The car was sidelined for the next two races due to mechanical issues, during which time Heuer hired a driver named Augie Pabst. Pabst would prove to be very competitive by winning the 1959 USAC championship, as well as the 1960 SCCA championship with Meister Brauser.

On 27 September at Vaca Valley, Heuer placed 17th in the Bocar, but the car did not qualify at the Riverside 200 Mile race two weeks later. The XP-5 had its best finished on October 18th. Pabst narrowly lost the lead and finished in second place at the SCCA Regional at Road America. The car was then sent to the Bahamas to race in the Bahamas Speed Week in early December. During practice, the Bocar broke its axle, and replacement parts did not arrive until the day before the Nassau Trophy race. Pabst's Scarab had been damaged during a shipping incident, so he was giving the driving duties for the Bocar during the Trophy Race. At the start of the race, he quickly established a lead through the first turns of lap one. The lucky quickly ran out, as the XP-5's fuel injectors clogged, and the car fell to the back of the pack by the conclusion of the lap. The bad luck continued, and the car was ultimately sidelined due to a bad clutch after just three laps.

The Meister Brauser team upgraded its stable after the 1959 season. The Scarab and the Bocar were displayed at the 1960 Chicago Auto Show, and then the XP-5 was sold to Gordon Mertens who, in 1970, sold the car to Worth Hill, who retained it for over four decades. It was stored in a dry climate-controlled garage and was kept in well-preserved condition. Hill finally offered the car for sale in April of 2014.

The car was purchased by a Bocar collector from Plymouth, Minnesota. Since then, it has been given a comprehensive restoration. Upon completion, it was shown at the Amelia Island Concours in 2015 where it won an Amelia Award for 'Pre-1959 Race Cars.'


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016


2016 RM Sotheby's : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $500,000-USD $700,000 
Sale Price :
USD $412,500

1959 Bocar XP-5 Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1959 sales)
1959 Bocar XP-5
Chassis#: 60-126
Sold for USD$99,637
  2019 Historics at Brooklands - Motor Museum
 
1959 Bocar XP-5
Chassis#: XP5043
Sold for USD$159,500
  2017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island
1959 Bocar XP-5 image  1959 Bocar XP-5 image  
1959 Bocar XP-5 'Meister Bräuser III'
Chassis#: 003
Sold for USD$412,500
  2016 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1959 Bocar XP-5 image  1959 Bocar XP-5 image  

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1959 Bocar XP-5's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1959 Bocar XP-5XP50432016 Mecum : Monterey$160,000  
1959 BOCAR XP-5 RE-CREATION60-1262016 Bonhams Goodwood Members' Meeting   

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